Between the movies, the one shots, the limited-series and the television shows, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is constantly growing bigger and bigger week to week - and it's all headed in a rather epic direction. As confirmed by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, everything we've seen so far in the comic book movie world has been building towards a massive big screen battle against the alien warlord known as Thanos, and that huge event will unfold in 2018's The Avengers: Infinity War.
But who amongst the established heroes and villains in the MCU can we expect to see pop up in the movie? Who are the filmmakers responsible for making it? Well, to organize all of that key information we have put together this handy guide which we'll keep updating to let you know the latest info about the giant blockbuster. So read on - but first, give the ridiculously fantastic debut trailer for The Avengers: Infinity War a watch!
What Is The Infinity War Release Date?
As was announced in October 2014, Avengers: Infinity War will be released on April 27, 2018. Originally, the movie was expected to come out on May 4, but following the success of Black Panther, Marvel is keeping the momentum going by pushing up Infinity War a little earlier. Initially, this story was believed to unfold across two movies, as the fourth Avengers movie was titled Infinity War: Part 2. However, directors Joe and Anthony Russo (more on them in a bit) later said that the titles were "misleading," and that eventually they would be changed. That eventually proved true, as in late August 2016 Marvel dropped the Part 1 from the third Avengers movie, thus resulting in Avengers: Infinity War. Avengers 4 still doesn't have an official title. There will still be some "cross pollination" between the two movies, but look at them now as separate and distinct movies.
What Is The Infinity War Rating?
No official rating has been announced yet, but it's a good bet that Avengers: Infinity War will follow in the footsteps of the other MCU movies and be rated PG-13. Granted, the violence will almost assuredly be the most intense we've seen yet in this franchise, but it won't be worthy of being slapped with an R-rating, just to ensure that younger fans can enjoy the experience as well. They'll throw in a few curse words and some suggestive material, but probably no more than the usual content found in a Marvel movie.
The Writers And The Directors
Marvel Studios seems to have a lot of trust in the abilities of the directing duo Joe and Anthony Russo and writing pair Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus. After the latter duo wrote the much-praised script for Captain America: The First Avenger, the four men first worked together on Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That was such a massive success that they were re-teamed for Captain America: Civil War; and with that track record Marvel Studios trusted nobody else to make The Avengers: Infinity War. The 2018 film should definitely be a totally different beast than the previous works of the filmmakers, given that they are working with dozens and dozens of established characters, but there's little reason to doubt that they'll come up with something wildly impressive.
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) served as the antagonist of Captain America: Civil War, enforcing the new legislation requiring that all superhero folk be regulated. This led to him squaring off against Captain America and the other anti-registration heroes in a battle of ideological differences, an the ending him emotionally scarred after discovering that Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) killed his parents. He's dealing with Steve Rogers' betrayal, and was left in a vulnerable spot. Since then we have seen him get some of his mojo back, helping Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man (Tom Holland) unlock his incredible potential, and it's even possible that when we next see him he will be married to Pepper Potts (Gwenyth Paltrow) - according to the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming. All the same, it's not exactly going to be easy for him to work with a lot of his fellow Avengers following their massive fallout, but they'll need to if they want to have any chance in the fight against Thanos (Josh Brolin)
Following the battle against A.I. gone mad in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America (Chris Evans) returned to the big screen in May 2016 for Captain America: Civil War, where he led the charge against the Sokovia Accords and superhero registration. Despite rumors that he would die at the end of the conflict, similar to what happened in the comics, Steve Rogers made it out alive, though he and his allies through the skirmish are now considered criminals by the world's governments (thanks to the fact that Cap freed them all from The Raft prison where they were being held). Even though he's on the run, there's no reason to believe that Captain America has stopped protecting the innocent on their own terms, and fighting Thanos will certainly be a big part of that mission. He'll be sporting a very different look in The Avengers: Infinity War, complete with a full fugitive beard, but there's no doubt that his moral compass will point true north as always.
Chris Evans will appear as Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 - which it's been said will complete the actor's contract with Marvel Studios. This leaves us wondering if the two big blockbusters could feature the end of the character's run on the big screen, but that's just speculation for now.
Like Captain America, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will be carrying a lot of baggage going into The Avengers: Infinity War, but it is of a much different variety. In Thor: Ragnarok, the God of Thunder not only witnessed the death of his father, but also the titular apocalyptic event. Fortunately, Thor was able to save most of the Asgardians before the destruction, shepherding them onto a space ship, but that didn't result in them being totally out of the woods. Instead, the mid-credits sequence showed us that there is a very real threat lurking in the cosmos, and judging by the Infinity War footage that was shown at D23/San Diego Comic-Con 2017 (where Thor was shown floating out in space), it looks like the hero and his people are anything but safe.
Beyond that, the first Avengers: Infinity War trailer also showed us that Thor will be playing a part in one of the most significant moments in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: he will be the first Avenger to meet the Guardians of the Galaxy. At this point we don't really know what's going to happen with that relationship, or how the Asgardian will wind up bringing the intergalactic heroes to Earth, but new trailers may reveal that in the weeks ahead.
At the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) flew away from his fellow Avengers in a Quinjet, and his whereabouts afterwards were a mystery. It turns out, as revealed in Thor: Ragnarok, that he landed on the alien planet Sakaar and had a rather life changing experience becoming a champion gladiator and learning how to (somewhat) properly speak. Over all Bruce Banner spent nearly two full years in his green monster form, and the effect is a created imbalance in the relationship between the two personas. At the end of the third Thor movie, Banner is afraid that turning into Hulk once more could be permanent - though his appearances in the Avengers: Infinity War trailer suggest he found a way to change back.
Outside of the fact that he apparently at one point comes crashing down through the roof of Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum, Hulk info isn't exactly plentiful right now where the Joe and Anthony Russo film is concerned. That said, Mark Ruffalo did confirm to us that his parts in Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 together form a three-act arc that operates as its own "standalone Hulk story."